On Sunday we explored the the kingdom practice of contentment.
We defined contentment in this way:
Contentment is the attitude of acceptance concerning where God has you in life with what God has given you. Contentment grows in the soil of trust and dependence upon God.
This means that contentment is a posture of the heart towards our position and possessions grounded in the goodness of God. It’s an orientation of satisfaction towards the present. It’s about finding fulfillment with now instead of longing for later.
Here are some questions to help you explore contentment.
- What longings has God placed on your heart? How do they relate to this call to contentment?
- Is your view of success or the good life tied to something changing? Is the good life about something not changing in your world?
- Contentment requires grieving; letting go of the way we want things to be and accepting what is. Is there anything that you need to grieve (a good thing lost) so that you can accept the good thing(s) that God wants to bring next?
- How do you discern when and what you purchase? What limits do you place on your spending?
- How has the ‘more is better’ or ‘bigger is better’ mentality shaped you?
- Do you envy those who have more things or more opportunities than you? Explain.
- How much of your identity is wrapped up in what you own and where you go? Who are you without all these acquisitions and opportunities?
- One scholar wrote: ‘The main emotion of adult Americans who have all the advantages of wealth, education and culture is disappointment. It pervades work, family life, school and politics as well as the church.’ Is this true? If so, why?
- Contentment requires us to be present in the moment – where we are now, not where we want to be. Discuss how can you ground yourself in today.
- Are you believing this lie: ‘Once I have , I’ll be happy.’ Or ‘Once I do , I’ll be happy.’
- In his book Holy Discontent, Bill Hybels explores how discontentment is often the means by which God moves us to join him as change is brought to the world. How can we be a people who discern holy discontentment from unholy discontentment?
- Does your ‘prayer life’ reflect contentment? Discuss how someone could tilt their prayer life away from ‘requests for change’ to receiving the gifts that God has given.
Recommended resource: Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster
Scriptures passages from Sunday: Acts 16:11-25; Philippians 4:10-13; Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 6:19-34